800,000 babies die of poor breastfeeding globally each year, says Health Commissioner

The Commissioner for Health in Ekiti, Dr Oyebanji Filani, says no fewer than 800,000 babies die of poor breastfeeding yearly across the globe.

Filani said this at a news conference to commemorate the 2020 edition of the breastfeeding week on Thursday in Ado Ekiti.

According to him, poor breastfeeding is largely responsible for the high infant mortality rate in the country.

He, however, noted that the incident was gradually being checkmated following the advent of exclusive breastfeeding and improved medical practices.

The commissioner said Ekiti was rated as having 55.4 per cent compliance with the first six months exclusive breastfeeding policy it initiated in 2019.

He said that the improvement in the state was due to the proactive action taken by Gov. Kayode Fayemi in terms of increased sensitisation.

“Findings have shown that investing in breastfeeding will prevent 13 per cent of child deaths and morbidity if 90 per cent of mothers exclusively breastfeed their infants, for the first six months of life.

“Globally, only 38 per cent of infants are exclusively breastfed and suboptimal breastfeeding contributes to 800,000 infant deaths globally on annual basis.

“So, any baby who is exclusively breastfed for the first six months without any formula, has fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhoea and has fewer hospitalisations and trips to the doctor.

“It is so significant that it has helped to remove the myth and unacceptable use of herbs and concoctions for neonate and young children,” he stated.

Filani added that exclusive breastfeeding, aside reducing the rate of child mortality, would also rake in an estimated sum of $150 million into the country’s economy yearly.

The commissioner noted that as part of the policy that would enhance adequate care for infants in Ekiti, six months had been approved for maternity leave for female civil servants.

He added that the government was also considering granting paternity leave to the male civil servants, to make both parents responsible for the care of their newborns.

Filani then appealed to mothers to refrain from unwholesome cultural practices, mandating giving off water and other fluids to newborns and embrace exclusive breastfeeding.

He added that this would assist in boosting the baby’s immunities, thereby reducing morbidity and mortality rates in the system.

NLC demands end to medical tourism by government officials

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, on Thursday called for an end to all forms of medical tourism especially by elected and appointed government officials.

The NLC also said that with the quantum of resources available to government, Nigeria can afford to build and effectively equip some of the best hospitals in the world, with global best practices and personnel.

President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba stated this in Abuja in his address on this year’s Global Day of Action on Care.

Briefing, Wabba reiterated that the government must be ready to invest heavily in the health sector, saying no country survives without effective health care.

He lamented that apart from the open fact that the country’s health care sector has been neglected for too long, health care workers have been subjected to unfair treatment for too long.

He said that “successive governments failed to take health care as a top priority beyond mere policy statements.”

“This year’s Day of Action on Care is coming at a most auspicious time as the world undergoes a very challenging period occasioned by the sudden outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, which has caused a pandemic of scary dimensions across the world; endangering everyone on earth, with care workers and other frontline health personnel encountering more serious risks.

“The theme for this year’s event is apt as it highlights the urgent need for massive investment in the care sector. COVID-19 has fully exposed several countries, including Nigeria as not having invested enough in our health care institutions, putting everyone, both rich and poor at high risks.

“The theme: ‘’Invest in Care Now!’’ is to drum up demands for heavy investments in the care sector by our government and big businesses, if we must keep a healthy society and productive human resource base.”

The NLC President said that essential workers as they are often called at crisis times, do not have the necessary personal protective equipment to work with, especially before the outbreak of COVID-19.

He expressed dismay that government waited for the pandemic before it woke up to the reality of the decadence in our health care sector, stressing that even now, enough has not been done to properly equip the sector and properly kit health workers across the country.

He said owing to COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria’s economy has suffered huge losses both in human and capital investment.

He said no country will grow with such avoidable losses, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic has also exposed the risks health care workers face daily in the course of their duties as they don’t have adequate and appropriate safety gears, access to their own health care, extended to their families as well as decent pay commensurate with the work they do.

He said, “health care workers also need standard daycare centres to keep their children when schools are not open and or infants that are not of school age, to enable them to concentrate on their work.

“It is also important that they are granted paid medical leave that include their immediate families. This will also help to curb the spread of airborne diseases they are exposed to at their workplaces.

“We also advocate full membership of trade unions by all health workers, including those in private facilities. This will give them coverage to demand for their rights and enable unions monitor safety standards at the care centres or hospitals.

“This will form part of our campaign in support of health care workers across the country in both public and private sectors.

“We will carry out these campaigns in collaboration with our affiliates in the health sector and also in partnership with willing associations or organisations among civil society organisations.

“I also wish to use this occasion to call on the Federal Government to pay the two months salaries owed health workers arising from an industrial dispute in 2018.

“The recent 7 days warning strike by the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to resolve the outstanding issues is yet to receive the attention of Government and a social dialogue meeting on this matter is yet to be convened.

“We also demand a quick conclusion on negotiations on salary adjustment for JOHESU members in line with alternative dispute resolution processes of National Industrial Court of Nigeria, which all parties involved in the negotiation were subjected to.”The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, on Thursday called for an end to all forms of medical tourism especially by elected and appointed government officials.

The NLC also said that with the quantum of resources available to government, Nigeria can afford to build and effectively equip some of the best hospitals in the world, with global best practices and personnel.

President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba stated this in Abuja in his address on this year’s Global Day of Action on Care.

Briefing, Wabba reiterated that the government must be ready to invest heavily in the health sector, saying no country survives without effective health care.

He lamented that apart from the open fact that the country’s health care sector has been neglected for too long, health care workers have been subjected to unfair treatment for too long.

He said that “successive governments failed to take health care as a top priority beyond mere policy statements.”

“This year’s Day of Action on Care is coming at a most auspicious time as the world undergoes a very challenging period occasioned by the sudden outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, which has caused a pandemic of scary dimensions across the world; endangering everyone on earth, with care workers and other frontline health personnel encountering more serious risks.

“The theme for this year’s event is apt as it highlights the urgent need for massive investment in the care sector. COVID-19 has fully exposed several countries, including Nigeria as not having invested enough in our health care institutions, putting everyone, both rich and poor at high risks.

“The theme: ‘’Invest in Care Now!’’ is to drum up demands for heavy investments in the care sector by our government and big businesses, if we must keep a healthy society and productive human resource base.”

The NLC President said that essential workers as they are often called at crisis times, do not have the necessary personal protective equipment to work with, especially before the outbreak of COVID-19.

He expressed dismay that government waited for the pandemic before it woke up to the reality of the decadence in our health care sector, stressing that even now, enough has not been done to properly equip the sector and properly kit health workers across the country.

He said owing to COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria’s economy has suffered huge losses both in human and capital investment.

He said no country will grow with such avoidable losses, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic has also exposed the risks health care workers face daily in the course of their duties as they don’t have adequate and appropriate safety gears, access to their own health care, extended to their families as well as decent pay commensurate with the work they do.

He said, “health care workers also need standard daycare centres to keep their children when schools are not open and or infants that are not of school age, to enable them to concentrate on their work.

“It is also important that they are granted paid medical leave that include their immediate families. This will also help to curb the spread of airborne diseases they are exposed to at their workplaces.

“We also advocate full membership of trade unions by all health workers, including those in private facilities. This will give them coverage to demand for their rights and enable unions monitor safety standards at the care centres or hospitals.

“This will form part of our campaign in support of health care workers across the country in both public and private sectors.

“We will carry out these campaigns in collaboration with our affiliates in the health sector and also in partnership with willing associations or organisations among civil society organisations.

“I also wish to use this occasion to call on the Federal Government to pay the two months salaries owed health workers arising from an industrial dispute in 2018.

“The recent 7 days warning strike by the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to resolve the outstanding issues is yet to receive the attention of Government and a social dialogue meeting on this matter is yet to be convened.

“We also demand a quick conclusion on negotiations on salary adjustment for JOHESU members in line with alternative dispute resolution processes of National Industrial Court of Nigeria, which all parties involved in the negotiation were subjected to.”

Wike signs Executive Order proscribing IPOB in Rivers, says it’s terrorist group

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has described the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group and signed an executive order to reinforce the ban on IPOB its activities in the state.

He made this known in a statement by Mr. Kelvin Ebiri, Special Assistant (Media) to the governor.

Ebiri stated that the governor, in a broadcast on Wednesday night in Port Harcourt, maintained that Rivers remains the home to all tribes and ethnic nationalities.

He said that the government acknowledges and appreciates the enormous contributions from non-indigenes to the political, social and economic development of the State.

According to the statement, the State Government will neither accept nor allow any individual or group from within and outside to violate the peace, endanger lives and property under any guise.

It stated: “the state government is opposed to the presence and activities of the legally-proscribed and anarchic IPOB and whatever it stands for in Rivers State.

“And so, let it be understood that we have nothing against all or any specific tribe and will continue to live in peace with people of all other tribal extractions residing or doing business in Rivers State.

“But we have everything against the presence and activities of the legally-proscribed IPOB and whatever that group stands for in Rivers State.

“This is clearly a terrorist group which existence, creed, mission and activities are strongly denounced even by the Government and peoples of the South-Eastern states of the country.

“I have, therefore, signed the executive order to reinforce the total ban on IPOB and its activities in Rivers State or any part thereof and nothing will stop us from enforcing this ban in its entirety,’’ he said.

The statement also added that Wike also “directed security agencies and the chairmen of local government areas to fish out and resolutely deal with any member of IPOB found in any community following the executive order and other legal instruments’’.

Eid-el-Maulud: FRSC boss urges Muslims to emulate Prophet Muhammad

The Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, has enjoined the Muslims to emulate the examples of Prophet Muhammad to create the desired peace and tranquility in the society.

The Corps Public Education Officer (CPEO), Asst. Corps Marshal, (ACM) Bisi Kazeem, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

Oyeyemi added that the examples were needed at this period of national crisis, stressing that the world requires selfless and committed individuals to promote peaceful coexistence among the people of the world.

He described the celebration of this year’s Eid Maulud at the period of social crisis in Nigeria as an opportunity for all and sundry to reflect on human life and embrace peace, dialogue and sacrifice to move the nation forward.

The Corps Marshal particularly called on all Muslims to use the period of the holiday to pray for harmony, peace and understanding among the people of Nigeria.

He appealed to all Nigerians to see what was happening in the country as one of the bitter experiences which the nation must carefully navigate through by relying on collective efforts.

Oyeyemi, however, assured members of the public that despite the situation in the country, people must move about freely and do so under an atmosphere of hope, safety and love for one another.

He stressed that though this year’s celebration was expected to be low keyed, with less number of interstate travellers, adequate arrangements had been made by the FRSC to ensure that movements were free, safe and conducive for all.

“On traffic movement during the celebration, the FRSC has measures to ensure free flow movement for all Nigerians.

“Rescue teams have been put on standby in all FRSC commands across the country to assist those that could be affected by any form of emergencies,” he stated.

Oyeyemi called on members of the public not to hesitate to call the Corps toll free line: 122 or directly contact the studio of the National Traffic Radio on 08052998090 or 09067000015, to attract prompt responses.

“I wish all Nigerians a happy and safe celebration, ” he added.